Hotel LĂ©opold

24h at Montparnasse, what's on the agenda?

A day in the Montparnasse of artists

Welcome to the artists' quarter. Located at the crossroads of the 6th, 14th and 15th arrondissements, the Montparnasse district has long been the cultural center of Paris. With its gardens, legendary brasseries, theaters and hidden museums, it's well worth the detour!

A morning in Montparnasse after a night at the LĂ©opold ...


9 a.m. - Coffee and butter croissant

Start the day with a gourmet breakfast at the Léopold hotel, featuring the finest products from local artisans, a true French breakfast in a boutique hotel in Montparnasse. Butter croissants from boulangerie M'seddi, best baguette of 2018 and supplier to the Élysée Palace, can be enjoyed until 10:30 a.m. by the fireplace at Léopold ! All in the heart of Montparnasse.

Hotel breakfast LĂ©opold



10 a.m. - Cultural walk

The day begins with a visit to the Musée Zadkinethe former studio of Russian-born sculptor Ossip Zadkine, who moved to Paris in 1910. The visit is a change of scenery, with a lovely house at the end of a small garden and temporary exhibitions.

Musée Zadkine © Musées de la Ville de Paris

11h - Discover Europe's most beautiful garden

Walk to the Jardin du Luxembourg. Start your walk with a coffee in one of the kiosks. Children can enjoy a horseback ride or a puppet show. For the grown-ups, try a game of chess with a stranger or join the pétanque courts. The garden was created in 1612 at the request of Marie de Médicis. In 2022, according to Housefresh , it was ranked the most beautiful garden in Europe. It's not for nothing that the Jardin du Luxembourg has inspired many artists ...  

Luxembourg Gardens
Henri Matisse, 1901
Oil on canvas, 59.5 x 81.5
St Petersburg, Hermitage Museum

After a tour of the garden, we settle into one of the chairs in the shade of a tree and open Hemingway's "Paris est une fête". In "Paris est une fête", Hemingway pays tribute to the city of Paris, where he settled with his first love. In this autobiographical account, he describes his adventures in such neighborhoods as rue Mouffetard (near the hotel Orphée), the Vavin district with La Closerie des Lilasrue Delambre with all its shops, and rue Notre-Dame-des Champs, all within a 5-minute walk of the hotel Léopold. "Paris est une fête" (Paris is a party) was the inspiration for Woody Allen's film "Minuit à Paris" (Midnight in Paris).

1 p.m. - French brasserie for lunch

It's time to head for the Vavin district and grab a bite to eat at one of Boulevard Montparnasse's legendary brasseries, such as Select or La Rotonde, where some of the greatest artists of the 20s passed through. In those days, penniless artists paid café owners with their paintings or drawings on napkins.  


An afternoon in Montparnasse

2:30 p.m. - Artists' stroll

Leaving the Barsserie, we tune in to the "A la dérive " podcast, following Alain Souchon's path to the artist studios on rue Campagne Première.  

In the episode "A la dérive avec Alain Souchon", the author meets the podcast's creator at the Dômethe famous Vavin seafood restaurant. Together, they head for rue Campagne Première, passing in front of the Léopold hotel. We learn about the history of the street and the many artists who have passed through it (Modigliani, Kiki de Montparnasse, Apollinaire).  


Continuing on your way, you come to the Montparnasse cemetery. Look out for the graves of Serge Gainsbourg, Baudelaire, Simone de Beauvoir, Samuel Beckett, Jacques Chirac, Charles Garnier, Eugène Ionesco, Guy de Maupassant and many others... A haven of peace with plenty of trees, and a few benches for reading or a quiet cup of coffee.


4:30 pm - As beautiful outside as inside

A visit to theGiacometti InstituteSwiss sculptor and painter. His studio is located at 5, rue Victor Schœlcher in the 14th arrondissement, the Montparnasse district where Giacometti lived and worked throughout his career. The art deco facade of this private mansion, which houses the studio, is well worth a visit.

Institut Giacometti © Musées de la Ville de Paris


4:30 pm - Snack time

Feeling peckish? Go to the crêperie Le Petit Josselin Le Petit Josselin: open for some twenty years and nestled in the middle of the "rue de la crêpe", a stone's throw from the Montparnasse Tower, this mythical crêperie is a landmark for gourmets, whether with family or alone. The decor is authentic, Breton and woody, and the smell of butter perfumes us from the moment we arrive. For those with big appetites, Marie-Thérèse and Giorgio suggest doubling the crêpes by stacking two on top of each other. The best butter-sugar in Paris.

Tea time at the hotel Léopold. By the fireplace or on the terrace, it's time to relax. You can even extend the break by stopping off under the comforter to watch "Cléo de 5 à 7", an emblematic film of the nouvelle vague. In this 1960s black-and-white film by Agnès Varda, we follow Cléo the heroine through Paris.  

At the start of the film, it's 5pm. Cléo is convinced she has cancer, and is due to pick up her test results 2 hours later, at 7pm. She then embarks on a walk through Paris, first alone, then in the company of a man she meets along the way.  

At the time, she lived in a studio on rue Huygens, alongside the Montparnasse cemetery. On her walk, she passed boulevard Raspail, in front of the present-day Hôtel Léopold, and the former Café du Dôme (now a seafood restaurant), and collected reels from the former Gare du Montparnasse, not far from the Hôtel de Montparnasse.hotel Cabaneand finally collected her results from the Salpêtrière hospital opposite thehotel Orphée.  

An evening in Montparnasse  

8pm - Bistronomic restaurant and theater

A hidden address in the neighborhood Mercerie MullotMercerie Mullot offers fresh produce, a menu that changes daily, and instinctive cuisine reserved for the lucky guests of this intimate restaurant, which has just a few tables. A convivial restaurant where it's not unusual for the chef to turn up the volume on his loudspeaker at the end of the service. In short, everything we love.

If you've got any energy left, push open the door of the Lucernaireone of the district's leading live arts venues. Theater, cinema and show business coexist in its 6 halls. Grab your tickets for a late showing before heading back to your hotel.  

All that's left for you to do is enjoy a cup of herbal tea in the boudoir before slipping into bed and dreaming of the Montparnasse of the Roaring Twenties.